The Latest News on the Zika Virus in Worcester, Massachusetts

With billions of dollars being poured into Zika Virus research worldwide, it is no surprise that a great deal of new information has come to light. While there is still more studies needed to concretely establish the relationship between Zika Virus and the various health complications it has been linked to, the CDC is recommending we error on the side of safety. Read on to learn about the latest discoveries and the implications of them.

Zika Virus Causes More Health Complications Than Previously Suspected

Just yesterday the CDC updated the White House with concerns about the many more potential health complications that can result from the disease than previously suspected. Since research has been amped up, there has been discoveries of a link between Zika Virus and a variety of other birth defects, not just microcephaly. Zika has also been linked to Guillain-Barre syndrome and a new link to the auto-immune disorder ADEM (acute disseminated encephalomyelitis.) 

All of this, and the Aedes Aegypti mosquito, thought to be the primary vector of Zika Virus, is present in 30 states as opposed to the previously mapped 12. Along with the Aedes Albopictus (Asian Tiger) mosquito, much of the United States is at risk – including Worcester, Massachusetts.

Pregnant Women Face Alarming Risks For Birth Defects

The CDC also reports that the complications during pregnancy when a mother is infected with Zika Virus is not just limited to early pregnancy infections, but can cause complications anytime during pregnancy. With Zika being primarily asymptomatic, the CDC has updated their Zika recommendations to couples in an effort to limit risks for pregnant women and those trying to get pregnant, as Zika Virus can be transmitted sexually. Everyone should also pay close attention to the Zika travel notice for the latest updates.

More Zika Virus Pregnancy Complications

As we stated above, the Zika Virus can cause microcephaly in infants as well as a variety of other birth defects. This was reported by The New England Journal of Medicine at the beginning of March. The Rio de Janeiro, Brazil study found that 29% of the tested pregnant women who had been infected with Zika Virus showed fetal abnormalities in their ultrasounds. The pregnancy complications discovered include:

  • Late term still birth
  • Macular hypoplasia
  • Cerebral calcification
  • Central nervous system alterations
  • Intrauterine growth restrictions
  • Abnormal arterial flow in umbilical arteries and cerebral arteries
  • Developmental failure in the vermis (a portion of the brain)
  • Blake’s pouch cyst
  • Insufficient or absent amniotic fluid

With a large portion of the United States population at risk, and health complications extending to everyone, not just pregnant women, we await further studies and the onset of mosquito season to find out if Zika will indeed be a severe threat in our area.

Zika Prevention

Our best defense, for now, is prevention. Avoiding mosquitoes and mosquito bites is the best way to lower your risk for Zika Virus infection. Our traditional barrier treatment eliminates 85-90% of the mosquitoes on your property on contact and continues to work for up to 3 weeks. Call today to sign up for the season!

Don’t forget to follow the 5 T’s of Mosquito Control to limit the growth of the mosquito population in your yard.